Genre:  Word
Platform:  Nintendo 3DS

For many of us word game enthusiasts, word searches are what we start on when we are just starting to learn to read.  I was certainly no different.  While they are not typically the most challenging of games, they are great for letting your brain idle and wasting some time.  I personally play these when I’m watching something on TV that isn’t particularly enthralling.

I discovered Epic Word Search on the 3DS store about a year ago and was captivated.  This isn’t your grandma’s word search.  Instead, it consists of five boards, all containing 9 separate sections of word searches containing a category of the big board.  In Epic Word Search 1, the categories are Rock and Roll, Movies, Food, TV and Sports.  Each sub-category as somewhere in the area of 60 words, so each board has over 350 words to find.  It’s challenging and fun and will take you hours to do.  The categories for Epic Word Search 2 are Animals, Journeys, Ancient, America and Shakespeare.

If you like small games that can take up a lot of your time, like word games and have a Nintendo 3DS, then this one is for you!


Hidden Gems – Mario Golf World Tour

Genre:  Sports
Platform:  3DS

I don’t really like golf.  But I do seem to like golf video games for some reason.  You probably can’t really call any game with Mario in the title “hidden”, but this one was off my radar for a while.  I popped it in my 3DS one day before a several-hour flight and played for several hours.

The golf game itself is solid.  It’s not too challenging and is easy to learn.  There are subtleties which will make you a better player overall, but it’s not completely necessary to play the game well.  The act of driving the ball is fun and you get rewarding graphics and sounds when you make a solid hit.  Putting is a little tricky at first, but once you figure it out, you’re on your way to birdie after birdie.  You will have to contend with environmental factors such as wind and your typical golf hazards.

While Mario is on the cover (as usual), you can play with any of the major Nintendo characters.  I typically pick Luigi as he is always in Mario’s shadow and is a bit goofier than his famous brother.  And I like green.  (Have you ever noticed that it’s the Mario brothers, indicating Mario is their last name?  So are they Mario Mario and Luigi Mario?)  There are many different courses to play on and they increase in difficulty.

As you play through, you earn coins which you can spend in the pro-shop for better items such as clubs.  Mario golf has been around since the NES days with a game simply titled “Golf”.  He’s come a long way and has improved dramatically.  If you like golf games, check this one out.

Stinkers – Mahjong CUB3D

Genre:  Puzzle
Platform:  Nintendo 3DS

I was really excited to get this game.  I like Mahjong games.  And this looked similar to Picross 3D so how could I lose?  This game has one fatal flaw and I will never understand what the developers were thinking, other than taking the easy way out and destroying their game in the process.

In this game, you are given 3D shapes covered in Mahjong tiles.  In typical Mahjong (which is actually the Chinese game Shanghai, not Mahjong) style, you match tiles to clear the play space.  It’s a very simple matching game, with just a smidge of strategy thrown in.  You need to know enough to clear outside tiles first.  That’s about it.  This game is the same in concept.  It’s the game play that wrecks this game.  Take a look at the picture below.  Do you see the problem?

Mahjong CUB3D play

You probably need to understand the 3DS to see the problem.  The top screen is a display screen.  The bottom is a touch screen which allows you to use a stylus to interact with the game.  However, this game uses the buttons to play.  That is the stupidest idea for a game like this.  It could have been as fun as I expected by using the touch screen.  But no, they had to go and use the buttons and D-pad.  Because of this critical flaw, this game is forever doomed to my stinkers list.